Experiential learning is like discovering the essence of water by playing in the waves at the beach rather than reading the definition for “water” in a dictionary. Studies have shown that students are able to absorb, understand and retain new information and concepts more readily when:
• they have an existing context for the information
• the information is meaningful to them
• there is a personal interest
• familiar elements are used
• lessons are embedded in enjoyable materials, stories or activities
• there is an understood reason for learning
• they build upon existing knowledge
• they know they will be given the opportunity to teach or present the material
Montessori education uses each of these techniques in a system where children learn by interacting directly with the world around them. Uniquely meaningful learning experiences are created by Montessori Bali and the depth of student’s worldly interaction increases with each class level. Children are guided by their own interests to discover the lessons in the following nine functional areas:
Practical life exercises (preschool and primary levels)
Everyday activities, such as washing a table, develop independence, concentration and fine and gross motor skills.
Montessori materials (preschool and primary levels)
Sensorial materials such as sandpaper letters reduce concepts to their basic components to clarify understanding.
Research Projects (primary level)
Personally chosen research projects extend awareness beyond the classroom while developing research, organisation and presentation skills.
Experiments (primary level)
Explorations of concepts discussed in the classroom deepen student understanding.
Excursions (primary level)
Going out trips extend research, increase independence and strengthen grace and courtesy skills.
Field trips (primary level)
External, whole class events, such as visiting Bali Bird Park, provide an opportunity to learn from the surrounding community.
Micro economies (primary level)
Planning, producing, marketing and selling their own goods provide an opportunity to experience the practical application of academics.
Productions (primary level)
Performance involvement grows proportionately with each class level and is an avenue for creative expression.